By Emsie Martin
The pandemic has led to major disruptions of the school year, forcing parents into periods of homeschooling throughout the year.
Though not a long-term solution for everyone, some parents may be tempted to explore the option of continuing to school their children from home – at least until the pandemic has reached an end.
The Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, says that since the pandemic started and businesses continued operating remotely, many have chosen to move away from the cities to more remote areas that offer a more relaxed and scenic lifestyle.
“Those who hope to do the same and who no longer want to be bound by school districts might find the concept of homeschooling more appealing,” he suggests.
The process of enrolling a child for homeschooling is relatively simple.
According to the Department of Education website, those who prefer to teach their children at home simply need to apply to the head of their provincial education department to register for home education. The lessons parents offer their children must then fall within the scope of the compulsory phases of education as set by the Department of Education.
Homeschooling is legal in South Africa, and as a parent, whether a national or visiting expatriate, you are entitled (and allowed) to choose a curriculum that suits your child’s unique educational needs, provided it meets the requirements to receive a South African matric equivalent.
What you should do
Apply electronically, using the applicable application form, to the head of your provincial education department and attach the following documents:
- certified copy of parent’s/parents’ ID
- In case of foreign nationals, certified copies of passports /study permits/work permits/asylum documents are required.
- copy of last school report (if the child was in school before, but if the child is only starting school now you must attach an immunisation card)
- weekly timetable, which includes contact time per day
- breakdown of terms per year (196 days per year)
- learning programme
- certified copy of child’s birth certificate
It may take up to 30 days for your applications to be processed.
There are various curriculums that parents can purchase online that comply with these regulations.
Parents will need to keep the following documents in order as proof of the child’s progress:
- record of attendance
- portfolio of the child’s work
- up-to-date records of the child’s progress
- portfolio of the educational support given to the child
- evidence of the continuous assessment of the child’s work
- evidence of the assessment and/or examination at the end of each year
- evidence at the end of Grades 3, 6 and 9, that shows whether your child has achieved the outcomes for these grades
Create a designated space in the home where you can keep records of your children’s work. This space could also be used as the classroom where the children are taught.
Own enclosed study
Homes with their own enclosed study are in high demand these days. If you are homeschooling you could renovate or build onto the home to create an office space if you do not already have one. This could add great value to the home if you later decide to sell. Those without the space or the budget to renovate could invest in some multifunctional furniture. A bedroom can easily double as a study by purchasing a Murphy bed that can tuck away against the wall when not in use. The built-in cupboards could also double as filing cabinets for children’s schoolwork if customised with clever storage fittings.
With older children homeschooling, visit https://gildes.solidariteit.co.za/en/solidarity-occupational-guilds/ to guide your child in the right direction. A Solidarity Occupational Guild is a community that not only strengthens you in your profession, but it is a community where you feel at home, work together and learn together. It is a community that focuses on protecting the profession, creating career opportunities for young people, acting as watchdog for the profession, and find workable solutions for challenges.
Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett